Joe Brown

Brown Advisory Group, LLC

Are Annuities Good Or Bad?

Understanding Annuities: Cutting Through the Noise for Everyday Investors

Have you ever heard someone declare, "Annuities are a bad investment; avoid them at all costs!"? Whether it's a cautionary tale from a friend or an online article, you may be tempted to accept this statement at face value. But here's the thing: All annuities are different, and many criticisms are a cocktail of half-truths and misinformation. So, let's separate fact from fiction.

The ABCs of Annuities: Different Types for Different Needs

Before you jump to conclusions, it's crucial to understand that several types of annuities are tailored to meet various financial goals and needs. The main types are Immediate Annuities, Fixed Annuities, and Fixed Indexed Annuities. Knowing the distinctions can help you decide whether any of these financial products are right for you.

Immediate Annuities: For Those Who Crave Certainty

Sometimes known as SPIAs (Single Premium Immediate Annuities), these are all about reliability. You pay a lump sum upfront, and in return, you receive a guaranteed income for a predetermined period—sometimes even for life. The beauty here is that the financial management is the insurer's headache, not yours. This can be a fantastic option if you're looking for a predictable, hands-off income, especially in retirement. However, remember that the decision is generally irrevocable once you opt for an Immediate Annuity.

Fixed Annuities: The Trustworthy Option

If you're a fan of slow and steady, Fixed Annuities or Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities (MYGAs) could be right up your alley. They offer a guaranteed rate of return for a set period, similar to a bank CD, but typically with better rates. Even better, most Fixed Annuities come with low or no fees and offer tax-deferred growth. Plus, they often allow you to access some of your funds without penalties, offering reasonable liquidity.

Fixed Indexed Annuities: The Versatile Choice

Gaining in popularity are Fixed Indexed Annuities. These financial products offer a variety of features, such as principal protection, tax-deferred growth, and even lifetime income benefits. Some also provide perks like bonuses or enhanced death benefits for your beneficiaries. They can be complex, so consulting a financial advisor is highly recommended.

So, Should You Run Away from Annuities?

The key takeaway isn't that annuities are universally "bad" or "good"; it's about alignment with your financial objectives. Immediate or Fixed Annuities may be beneficial if you desire a guaranteed income stream. A Fixed fixed-indexed annuity might fit the bill if you're seeking security and growth.

Here's the bottom line: Do your homework, consult a financial advisor, and steer clear of half-baked opinions. Annuities can be complex, but they can also offer unique benefits that might be perfect for your financial landscape. After all, making an informed decision is always better than reacting to hearsay.

  • All Annuities Are Not the Same: There are different types to consider, including Immediate, Fixed, and Fixed Indexed Annuities.
  • Immediate Annuities (SPIAs): Offer a guaranteed income for a predetermined time or lifetime, taking financial management off your shoulders.
  • Fixed Annuities (MYGAs): Provide a guaranteed rate of return for a set term, typically with low or no fees and some liquidity.
  • Fixed Indexed Annuities: Offer a mix of features like principal protection, tax-deferred growth, and optional lifetime income benefits.

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Joe Brown picture

Joe Brown

Brown Advisory Group, LLC

2445 Darwin Rd.

Suite 105

Madison, Wisconsin 53704

(608) 241-4425

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